REOPENING OF @SuntoryHallE TOKYO AFTER RENOVATION

Suntory Hall (Location: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi) celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016. To mark this occasion, a major renovation has been carried out on the entire hall and the additional entrance has been constructed in a seven-month project that was launched in February 2017. Suntory Hall is scheduled to reopen its doors on 1 September.

The renovations were carried out under the basic concepts of “Tradition and Innovation” with focus on the three key points of “Inheriting Tradition–Acoustics and design”, “Designing Diversity – For all audiences”, and “Improving our facilities – Developing a next-generation performing space for music”.

In its pursuit of “the world’s most beautiful sound”, Suntory Hall will continue to take on challenges and engage in initiatives that can be achieved only by Suntory Hall. Initiatives are carried out based on the following guidelines:
1. Offering creative and high quality performances organized by the Hall
2. Engaging in educational programs aimed at the succession and development of music culture
3. Towards a more global Hall strengthening global services

  • Three key concepts behind full renovation of the Hall
  1. Inheriting Tradition – Acoustics and design

Since opening its doors in 1986, Suntory Hall has continued to pursue “the world’s most beautiful sound”. The renovations were carried out in order to maintain the acoustics and atmosphere of the Hall.

  1. Designing Diversity – For all audiences

The renovations focus on achieving universal design aimed at providing a comfortable environment to a wide range of visitors. The vineyard-style design dictates the need for slopes and other physical constraints, but every possible repair and improvement was carried out in several areas to ensure better accessibility.

  1. Improving our facilities – Developing a next-generation performing space for music

Remarkable cutting-edge technological innovations in acoustics and lighting have been incorporated in renovations to enhance facilities. The stage and seating area lighting have been changed to LED, and equipment such as digital signage and laser projectors have been newly installed.

Please see the following link for details:
http://www.suntory.com/culture-sports/suntoryhall/facility/reopening20170901/

  • Re-opening concert on 1 September

The main program of the Re-Opening Concert marking the new beginning of Suntory Hall after renovations will be Rossini’s “Messe solennelle (Missa Solemnis)”, performed using the critical edition by D. Daolmi/ Foundatione Rossini published in 2013 (Japan premiere).
Please come to enjoy the reopening of the new Suntory Hall featuring a full orchestra, mixed chorus, and the glorious sound of the organ that has undergone a full-scale overhaul by master craftsmen of the world-renowned Rieger Orgelbau of Austria.

Contact the following for interviews, inquiries or requests for photos or documents:
Public Relations Department, Suntory Hall
suntoryhall-pr@suntory.co.jp
Tel.: +81-(0)3-3505-1002 Fax: +81-(0)3-3505-1007
1-13-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-8403
http://suntory.jp/HALL/

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#Classical #music 2017 business is more vibrant than ever

It’s not fake news. It’s true: the classical music business seems to be more vibrant than ever before. “A few decades ago, I would not have put money on the survival of the concerto, except as an antiquarian curiosity. Celebrity soloists continued milking the classics, but the rest of the music world seemed to have moved on from all that gladiatorial bravura, the individual versus the collective story line that made the genre such a Romantic-era staple”, writes Justin Davidson about the topic situation in New York.

 

Tenthousands of people listen to classical music – Oper für alle – Berlin

In Germany there are more crowds joining classical live music pereformances, festivals and events than the national soccer league, according to a STRAD report. A couple of new concert halls and music theatres in Bochum, Berlin (Pierre Boulez Hall at Barenboim-Said Foundation), Dresden and of course Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie) as well as refurbished venues in Munich, Dresden and other German cities (topic issue of the magazine “das Orchester”) show the refreshed power of classical music on major markets. German orchestras have doubled their education and outreach activities since 2004. For example: last week West German Radio Orchestra Cologne rushed out of the concert hall.13 chamber music ensembles visited some 100 primary schools in 55 cities in Northrhine-Westfalia and reached out to 20.000 kids. In one week! This is good news!

Symphony goes Soccer – @_Konzerthaus #Berlin

Did you know, that in Germany more people attend performances of publicly funded operas, theatres, orchestras and concert houses than games of the several German Soccer Leagues? Berlin Konzerthaus has been thinking about the parallel universums of a conductor and a soccer coach. Watch interesting impressions from the concert hall and the Berlin Olympic Stadium! Cheering audiences guaranteed.

This is the sound of Berlin – Konzerthaus and Hertha BSC.

Buenos Aires opens new Concert Hall

For a long time things didn’t run well in Argentina. And there are still many issues waiting to be improved, especially in the arts sector. Teatro Colón for example is suffering from severe mismanagement.

However, on May 21st 2015 a new arts centre (including a 1750-seat-concert hall) has been open in the more-than-refurbished former Main Post Office, downtown Buenos Aires (“Centro Cultural Kirchner“). Old architecture is combined with cutting-edge technical equipment. Acoustics are reported to be superb. One mustn’t agree with the Kirchner regime in political questions at all, but this new building seems to be an outstanding and interesting new hot spot for the National Symphony Orchestra as well as for internationally touring orchestras.

Watch the government “propaganda” video, which at least offers a good impressions of the new venue and the whole project:

Topic orchestra landscape in France

French orchestra landscape has a long historical background from this history resulting structures and specific challenges today. Very much centralised and, originally, a matter of royal patronage, the provision of classical music is still largely regarded as a public service. While artists enjoy considerable (financial) privileges, it is arguable if the current state of affairs can be preserved. While the reforms of Marcel Landowski, the influential arts administrator from the 1960s to the 1990s, helped to “regionalise” classical musical life, it has remained highly dependent on political support.

Philharmonie de Paris: To be opened 2015

Philharmonie de Paris: To be opened 2015

As a result, ensembles’ facilities and reputation often vary greatly. Some, like Toulouse and Lyon, have become high-profile orchestras, but in general many do not receive the recognition they deserve. For self-employed musicians the situation in France appears comfortable, as the French welfare system guarantees a kind of basic income for artists (“intermittents du spectacle”). Yet the system also does have its drawbacks, as it makes touring abroad (too) expensive – a problem, especially as many French music festivals are struggling with financial difficulties.

 

The French musicians’ union SNAM highlights some of the central issues facing musical life in France. SNAM strongly advocates a commitment to public funding, regarding the provision of classical music as a public service. At the same time, the union is wary of new legislation giving local politicians even greater sway over regional orchestras. The way to a professional position is a tough one: the French system is highly selective and in general places a greater emphasis on the training of soloist rather than orchestra musicians. At the same time, teachers are often poorly paid, even at top schools like the Conservatoire de Paris. And as elsewhere, graduates face a difficult job market with far more applicants than open positions.

 

Coveted employers are the two federal broadcasting ensembles, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Orchestre National de France (ONF). Central pillars of the French classical music landscape and comfortably financed, the ONF cultivates symphonic music of the 19th century, often acting as national cultural ambassador, whereas the Orchestre Philharmonique puts greater emphasis on contemporary works.

 

Fortunately there are some new concert halls currently in progress, in Paris (Philharmonie de Paris) and Lyon. As the responsible executives point out, the new spaces face – and respond to – changing social, cultural and economic situations: they carry classical music to the suburbs, reaching out to new audiences, and try to create inviting leisure environments, beyond a narrow conception of concert-going.

Classical:NEXT take off today in Vienna

Classical:Next is going to open its doors in Vienna today. Visitors are in line at the registration desks. There will be three fully packed days of discussions, meetings and showcases.

Registration Desk in Vienna

Registration Desk in Vienna

What’s the idea?

“Preserve the past – work in the present – look to the future

The classical music community is fragmented: early or contemporary, traditional or experimental, live or recorded, independent or major – to mention only some of thedivisons. Individual factions meet and network separately at their own events, rarely conversing with other groups. This is business as usual, yet old models and practices can no longer be relied on to sustain audience numbers or the financial health necessary to survive and thrive. The future of music is at stake and music professionals must orient themselves towards it.

An international Forum

Classical:NEXT is a new, annual event that addresses head on the challenges facing the international classical and art music community, both in its entirety and within its various sectors. Classical:NEXT also offers an ideal opportunity to promote new talent, new creative ideas and future-oriented business practices.”

Find more about the program here

The endless classical crisis?

The final day of ABO conference in Leeds on 25 January 2013 gave participants a couple of ideas from outside the orchestra sector.

ABO conferecne in Leeds 2013 - the final day

ABO conferecne in Leeds 2013 – the final day

Alex Ross, author of the book “The Rest is Noise”, Music Critic of the New Yorker, presented an overview of the recent crisis affecting some US orchestras and the wider classical music industry. He pointed out that the talks on the death of classical music might be older than classical music itself…  Of course orchestras are facing severe challenges, there is Baumol’s cost disease, there is a decline of music critics etc. But some orchestras such as in Detroit, Philadelphia or Cleveland are doing better now than before the crisis. Cleveland has boosted the audience of college students as of 20 percent, Detroit is on its way of recovery.

A new problem which arises across the US is how to bring in a new generation of philanthropist. Younger wealthy people don’t want to give money to arts institutions just because they exist. The ongoing question is, how arts organizations have to change in a changing environment. The bios of orchestras and concert halls are linked past repertoire. There has to be a new balance to contemporary music. The “fear of the new” has become bigger: managements are scared by half full halls when putting a Schoenberg piece on the program, audiences are scared not to understand this kind of music (after some 100 years…). But the examples of Micheal Tilson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony and Esa Pekka Salonen with the LA Phil have shown that is possible to be classical and modern and successful.

Classical music producers of the past have promoted it in a snobbish attitude as “good”, “great” or “serious” music. It has become an elitist, antique art form. The still existing concert rituals, rules, church mentality, when-you-should-clap advices are elements of this phenomenon. To change these images is a real challenge. Music is an art form of extremes: loud – silent, old – new, sad – funny etc. It’s not just another commercial product. Music is relevant to all people. And orchestras have got the chance to make music which they perform more relevant to more people.

Following sessions and discussions highlighted, that there is a gap of as well as a hunger for knowledge on the development of the arts in the 20th century. A good example is the topic Southbank Centre’s program titled: “The Rest is Noise”. Filling this gap and building bridges to other art forms and links to politics and history may be the key to develop orchestra programming and relevance orchestras for the future.